Question

What is meant by scattering of light? Use this phenomenon to explain why the clear sky appears blue or the Sun appears reddish at sunrise.

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Updated on : 2022-09-05
Solution
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Scattering is the phenomenon in which light ray is redirected in different directions on passing through particles of dimensions comparable to the wavelength of the light.
Due to atmospheric scattering, blue light is scattered the most while red light is scattered the least.
During day, red light is not scattered as the light travels lesser distance and scattering of blue light by the atmosphere makes it appear blue. 
During sunrise/sunset, when the Sun is near the horizon, sunlight has to travel a larger distance and blue light is scattered away. Since the red light is scattered less, it can travel longer distances and hence, sun appears reddish during sunrise/sunset.

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